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Cholera Epidemics in the 19th Century

The Great Plague of London, 1665

The Boston Smallpox Epidemic, 1721

“Pestilence” and the Printed Books of the Late 15th Century

Spanish Influenza in North America, 1918–1919

Syphilis, 1494–1923

Tropical Diseases and the Construction of the Panama Canal, 1904–1914

Tuberculosis in Europe and North America, 1800–1922

The Yellow Fever Epidemic in Philadelphia, 1793

General Materials

Notable People

Related Links


Fay Family Papers

The Fay family papers consist mainly of the personal correspondence of Amy Fay, a pianist and the first president of the Women’s Philharmonic Society of New York, and of her two nieces, the actress Amy Fay Stone and her sister Margaret Stone Wright.

Born in 1844 in Bayou Goula, Louisiana, Amy Fay studied piano under Professor John Knowles Paine of Harvard and at the New England Conservatory of Music. She continued her lessons in Germany, where she studied with the most prominent teachers of Europe. Amy (Amie) Fay Stone, daughter of Amy Fay’s sister, Katherine Maria (Fay), and of William Eben Stone, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1888. She was a special student at Radcliffe College in 1908–1911. She began her career as an actress at the Castle Square Stock Company in Cambridge, using the stage name of Anne Faystone. She traveled with Minnie Maddern Fiske's company and, later, with John Drew and other contemporary stars. Her efforts to establish herself as an actress were interrupted by bouts of tuberculosis in 1916 and again in 1925. Amy Fay Stone died at Fisher’s Island, New York in 1953. Margaret (“Margot”) Stone was born in 1886. She attended the Buckingham School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, took courses at Radcliffe College, studied French in Paris and Brussels, and was trained as a pianist. She died in England in 1937.

The full collection at the Schlesinger Library consists of two cartons, one file box, one photo folio folder, and three folders of photographs. Series II of the collection consists of the papers of Amy Fay Stone: her diaries (1900–1914), photographs, and correspondence—mainly to her mother—about life in New York and on the road. These letters provide information on theatrical life in New York in the 1910s and 1920s. The letters also detail life in the tuberculosis sanatorium at Saranac Lake, New York. Her letters, some of which are noted below, get to the heart of the extended experience of being sick with tuberculosis and the isolating experience of being in a sanatorium.